04 September 2008

Published: The Silver Market Phenomenon

Blogging has been pretty easy the last week or so.  All I've had to do is toss up emails ...

Dear Author,

SMPIt is with great pleasure to inform you that our book The Silver Market Phenomenon: Business Opportunities in an Era of Demographic Change has finally been published by Springer this week. You will receive your author copy from Springer soon. I am attaching the book flyer (PDF) for your reference. Please feel free to use it to spread the word and promote the book.

Professor Herstatt and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for contributing to this project.


Florian Kohlbacher & Cornelius Herstatt

Read The Preface and Introduction (PDF)

On Amazon.com

02 September 2008

Our requested changes were never heeded.

Email, expurgated, names deleted to protect the innocent and the guilty, italics/bold mine:

Dear Chuck,

.... I especially  bonded with what you spoke about in your presentation. Over the past three to four years, I've worked as a proofreader at *******,  ******, and ***** (major ad agencies).

Thanks to your lecture, I now know that Shirley Polykoff (and what an inserted "y" will do to Americanize what I presume was Poliakoff!) was the Clairol (campaign) innovator ....

On the subject of Baby Boomers,  I should tell you that when I walked into *****, the HR person greeted me with, "Oh, I think you're going to be very happy here -- we have people of all ages!" Nothing made me feel self-consciously older than that! However, the creative people still looked the same as they did at ***** and *****.

... So, it was especially amusing when your graphic for ***** came up and you noted that the copy was too small to read. You should have added that for some reason, more and more people are also using this light gray typeface (in the print ad you used as an example). My proofreading colleagues and I would get myopically and intellectually frustrated and rant about our changes not being acknowledged! We'd talk about the copywriters writing ads like the one you mentioned and not realize that the target audience could not read it! We couldn't read it without blowing it up! Our requested changes were never heeded.

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the presentation! I appreciated your clearcut, informative, amusing and candid delivery which was engrossing and compelling from start to finish. If you have more coming up, please let me know ...

R---- D-----

Our requested changes were never heeded. 

I'm ... speechless.

27 August 2008

Don't Fear 65.

An expurgated email:

Hi Chuck,

symetra I work for Bellevue-based (that'd be Washington State, Seattle area) Symetra Financial, and as we were developing our new ad campaign geared toward retirees, I came across your blog …

The Web site we’ve developed: www.dontfear65.com.

dontfear We’re focusing on empowerment and optimism, as opposed to fear mongering, and in doing so we hope to change the mindset around retirement ...

The theme of the campaign is highlighted in a couple of fun videos that depict seemingly ordinary Boomers before a crowd of retirees, rallying them to face turning 65 without fear:



Well … these folks are practically down the street from me – so I’d better be nice.

conqueredActually, I got a kick out of the site.  The videos are cute.  I’ll take cute over pandering or condescending any day.

Gee. Free consulting. This is a big chunk of what I do for a living. Meaning, I don’t do it for free. Or, I do do it for free because I’m doing it now ...

A few observations and suggestions:

I’m not a big fan of flash microsites. This one is simple and inviting, however

The graphics and layout are fine for the landing – but deeper in, the wishy-washy color contrasts and spongy fonts are dreadful for older eyes.  Also, a good rule to remember: If you think you need a text resize widget, that means only one thing - the text is too small. Bump it and forget about a silly resizer.

Things look much better when you fly out of flash hell and land on a PDF.  True - it's kind of boring, not very fun and sexy in PDF-land (it could be with an extreme makeover), but at least my eyes don't hurt and my pointer isn't fumbling around trying to grab and pull on that flimsy scroll bar.   

Now I’ve done my good, neighborly deed for the day. Back to being cranky.